Ikaria Island: Unveiling the Secrets of Greek Tranquility

Ikaria Island: Unveiling the Secrets of Greek Tranquility

Sep 19, 2023

Unveil the enchantment of Ikaria Island, a Greek paradise where ancient myth and breathtaking nature intertwine. With its sandy beaches, running waters, and majestic mountains, Ikaria beckons you to explore a land steeped in legend.

Immerse yourself in the renowned thermal springs, celebrated for their unique composition. Experience the unrivalled local lifestyle, from the captivating work-rest schedule to the vibrant festivals and traditional dances.


Discover the richness of local customs, a tapestry of traditions that make Ikaria a destination like no other. Traverse stunning gorges, dive into crystal-clear waters, and indulge in the flavours of fresh fish and fragrant wine. Immerse yourself in the Ikarian way of life, where the secrets of longevity are treasured. Nestled in the Eastern Aegean Sea, Ikaria invites you to escape the rush of daily life, offering a haven where time slows down.

Explore the captivating natural landscapes, venture into picturesque villages, and embrace the legendary longevity of its inhabitants. Let Ikaria cast its spell on you as you uncover a world where myth, nature, and rejuvenation converge.

History of Ikaria

Ikaria, where ancient Greek mythology weaves tales of courage and tragedy. According to legend, the island's very name derives from Ikaros, the daring son of Daedalus. As the master architect entrusted by King Minos to construct the labyrinth that confined the fearsome Minotaur, Daedalus and Ikaros possessed knowledge that had to be contained within Crete's shores. Bound by Minos' decree, they were forbidden from leaving the island to prevent the escape of their labyrinth's secrets.

Undeterred by their confinement, Daedalus ingeniously crafted wings of wax, allowing him and his son to take flight and defy the constraints of their prison. However, Ikaros, consumed by his hubris, soared too close to the sun, seeking to rival the gods themselves. In his reckless ambition, his wings succumbed to the scorching rays, and he plummeted into the depths of the sea that embraced the island. It was there, in those surrounding waters, that Ikaria found its namesake, forever etching the tragic tale of Ikaros into the island's history.

How to get to Ikaria

By Ferry
Ikaria can be easily accessed by ferry from Athens, with regular departures from Piraeus port throughout the week. The journey itself spans approximately 11 hours, so an easier method is to fly in to an island close by Ikaria then catch a ferry from there.

Additionally, ferry connections are available between Ikaria and neighbouring islands like Chios, Patmos, Kos or Leros, allowing you to explore the enchanting archipelago. 

During the summer months, Ikaria also boasts a ferry link with Kavala, a charming city situated in the northern part of mainland Greece.

By Plane:

The easiest way to get to Ikaria is to fly. There are direct flights from Athens and takes around and hour of travel time.

A one way ticket costs around €90, depending on the time of year you want to travel.

The flight time is around an hour.

Flights area also available from Thessaloniki and Limnos.

The airport on Ikaria is 10km from the main village, so its best to organise a transfer or a taxi from the airport.

Things to do while visiting Ikaria

Ikaria is best known for doing nothing. There are no organised tours to speak of, but instead you can enjoy a hike through the hills and pathways of the island that will eventually lead to you beautiful beaches. The best thing to do is to visit all of the villages on the island. Each is more welcoming than the previous!

Getting around Ikaria

Ikaria is an island you will need a car for. I would not rely on the public transport or even the taxis on the island. Best bet is to hire a car on the island, or if you are coming to the island via ferry, take you car with you! It will save you from the headaches of trying to get around the island on your own.

Ikaria Villages

Agios Kirykos, the island's capital and primary port, invites you to immerse yourself in its idyllic charm. Nestled on a verdant hillside, this picturesque town reveals its secrets through winding alleyways, captivating old neighbourhoods, and elegant captain houses. As a testament to Ikaria's deep connection to the sea, the Archaeological Museum unveils treasures discovered on the seabed, offering glimpses into the island's rich history.


Venture beyond to the captivating village of Evdilos, the island's second port, adorned with enchanting houses and cobblestone pathways. This traditional village, once the island's capital, exudes an air of timelessness, inviting you to step back in time and embrace its authentic beauty.

Indulge in the coastal allure of Gialiskari, a renowned seaside village that beckons with its sandy shores and the nearby beach of Messakti. Immerse yourself in the ambiance of a fisherman's village at Avlaki, where the rhythms of the sea harmonise with the daily lives of its inhabitants.

Discover the tranquility of Karkinagri, a charming fishing village nestled amidst impressive granite stones, creating a mesmerising backdrop. And don't forget to gaze upon the majestic lighthouse perched on Cape Papas, a sight that captivates the imagination.

Experience the heart of the mountainous region in Christos Rachon, the main village of Raches. Resting on a lush green hillside, this vibrant village unveils a unique tradition: its shops remain open throughout the night, from the mesmerising sunset to the enchanting sunrise. Wander through its streets and savor the nocturnal ambiance that paints a different hue on the tapestry of Ikaria's daily life.

Best beaches on Ikaria

Seychelles Beach

20 kilometres southwest of Agios Kirikos lies a true gem among Ikaria's stunning beaches. This coastal marvel unveils its splendour within a picturesque and intimate cove. As you approach, prepare to be enchanted by the harmonious dance of bright pebbles and rocks adorning the shoreline. The emerald waters, caressed by gentle waves, invite you to take a refreshing dip.

The beach is not organised, so you will have to bring everything you need for the day.

Livadi Beach

A well organised beach that is 48 km north west of Agios Kirikos. The beach is surrounded by taveranas so you will be spoilt for food choices. The beach is sandy and has crystal clear waters to swim in.

Nas Beach


Located 55 km north west of Agios Kirikos Nas beach is not organised.  It is unique as its the meeting of a river and the Aegean Sea, in a beautifully unusual scenery. A small walk through the dense forest you will discover a beautiful waterfall.

If you do get hungry there a taveranas at the nearby village of Kirikos.

Kambos beach

Kambos beach is 40 km north west of Agios Kirikos. It is a sandy beach that is partly organised. As the beach is partly organised, there are taveranas and snack bars if you get hungry. The beach itself is shallow so you will be able to walk out rather far while going for a swim.

Hot Mineral Springs & Spas on Ikaria


with a distinctive geological and tectonic structure, Ikaria holds a precious treasure within its embrace: geothermal springs that emanate from the Earth's core. Harnessing the natural heat, these springs offer a priceless resource for healing and alleviating various ailments.

In recent years, Ikaria has emerged as a prominent destination for therapeutic and thermalitsic tourism. People from Greece and across Europe flock to the island's renowned hot springs, seeking rejuvenation and solace amidst their healing waters.

Currently, the primary utilisation of Ikaria's geothermal potential lies in curative practices. The thermal springs surge from the depths of the sea, traversing fault structures, folds, and veins before gracefully emerging to the surface.

Ranging in temperatures from 31°C to 58°C, their unique radiation values, predominantly attributed to radon, vary based on the journey undertaken by the hot waters. These ancient hot springs, known and revered since antiquity, rank among the most radioactive in the world, classified as superheated sources of healing power.

Scattered across the southeast and northeast coasts, Ikaria boasts numerous thermal springs, each with its own allure. Let us explore some of the noteworthy locations:

Agios Kyrikos: Discover the invigorating springs of Mustafa - Litza (Asclepius), Lower Loumakia, and Kleftolimano.

Therma: Immerse yourself in the rejuvenating embrace of Cave Spring, Pamfyli, Kratsa, Apollon, Artemis, Patero, Apollo Hotel, and Chalasmenwn Thermwn.

Lefkada - Xylosyrti: Experience the therapeutic properties of Chlio-Thermo, Thermo, and the renowned 'Athanato nero' (Immortal Water).

Agia Kyriaki - Armyridas Springs: Delve into the hidden treasures of healing that these springs offer.

The diet of Ikaria

Blue Zones have said, if you want to live to 100 (or more) then the diet of the Ikarian people is the one you need to follow. The diet differs from all other  diets including the overall Greek diet.


While on the island, why not try and following the diet of Ikaria, which involves consuming, Wild Greens (horta), honey, Greek coffee, Black Eyed Peas, Chickpeas, Lemons, Olive Oil, Mediterranean Herbs and potatoes.


Stick to this diet and you will hopefully hit triple figures!

best places to eat and drink

Sta Perix

Located in Akamatra, serving meze and raki all day. The food along with the view is well worth the visit!




Located at Agios Kirikos, this restaurant has to have the best view on the island. Serving traditional Greek food and meze. The staff a very friendly and helpful.

Anna's Taverna

Located in Raches, and established in 1998, Anna's restaurant is known throughout the region as one of the best seafood restaurants. Their variety of fresh fish is well known throughout the island, and is not to be missed.